Chris believes good team spirit the secret to getting the Cobblers on the right Lines

Chris Lines celebrates scoring a goal for Bristol Rovers
Chris Lines celebrates scoring a goal for Bristol Rovers

New signing Chris Lines believes team spirit is just as important as talent if a club wants to win promotion - and he is sure Keith Curle is going to get things right at the Cobblers.

A veteran of four promotions in a 15-year senior career, central midfielder Lines this week agreed a two-year deal at the PTS Academy Stadium.

The switch from Sky Bet League side Bristol Rovers came about after a series of meetings with Curle, in which the Town boss spelled out exactly what his plans are for next season and beyond.

Lines liked what he heard, and not just what he was told about the players Curle is targeting, but also about the environment he is aiming to cultivate at the PTS, and the 33-year-old knows from experience exactly how important that can be.

“One of the first things the manager said to me when we were speaking, is that there are going to be a lot of players going out of the door and he was going to get the chance to bring in players he wanted to get in,” said Lines, who has gone up three times with Rovers, and once with Sheffield Wednesday.

“If he does get all of those players in that he wants to, then I am sure we are going to have a good bunch of lads.

Chris Lines battles with Jay Williams during Bristol Rovers' 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win over the Cobblers in January (Picture: Pete Norton)

Chris Lines battles with Jay Williams during Bristol Rovers' 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win over the Cobblers in January (Picture: Pete Norton)

“He wants that winning mentality, and if you get a good bunch of lads together that are all on the same wavelength it is massive."

Lines won back-to-back promotions with Rovers in 2015 and 2016, when they joined the title-winning Cobblers in going up to league one, and he said: "When I was at Rovers and we won previous promotions, we have not necessarily been the best team.

"But we have had a great bunch of lads, and once you get that sorted then the results start to take care of themselves.

“That is probably what the manager’s main aim is, to get a good bunch together, getting a winning mentality back into the squad, and now we have to get the ball rolling.”

Although Lines is looking forward to his life at the Cobblers, he is also sad to bring an end his association with the Gas.

“It was always great times there,” said the midfielder, who in total spent 15 years with the Gloucestershire club.

“I left for four or five years and then went back, which was at the time a difficult decision as I joined them in the Conference for the last couple of months.

“But it worked out brilliantly. We had back-to-back promotions, and doing that can only help me in my experiences now in coming here to Northampton and trying to do that.

"Obviously I have supprted Rovers since I was a kid and it was nice to have been part of some success there, but now I want to add to this club, add to the dressing room, and if I can help in any way then I will.”

Lines was a regular Rovers starter under Darrell Clarke, but once he left the club, his replacement, Graham Coughlan, didn’t see him as a part of the team’s future.

And that is something he says footballers have to accept.

“Bristol is where I am from, so it is a difficult one, but you just never know what’s going to happen in football, you don’t know what’s round the corner,” said Lines.

“You have different managers come in who have different ideas, and sometimes it is time to move on, and that time for me is now.”